The Wellness Network’s Patient Study

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The Wellness Network, New York-based parent company of The Patient Channel and The Newborn Channel, has just announced the findings of a quantitative and qualitative, three-phase study, titled A Day in the Life of a Hospital Patient.

The study was conducted to determine the overall patient experience, mindset and willingness to receive health and wellness information during hospitalization and after discharge.

As an extension of the annual viewership research fielded by The Patient Channel, The Wellness Network commissioned GfK Research North America to conduct the in-depth consumer study to help better understand patients’ in-hospital experience and the role The Patient Channel plays in their experiences. Participants were engaged throughout a multi-stage process: phase one – 239 in-hospital interviews; phase two – 92 at-home telephone interviews; and phase three – at-home qualitative interviews with 15 patients.

The final phase of the study included videotaped interviews in or near the homes of the 15 respondents across 10 states. Participants were pre-screened by professional ethnographers, and included five men and 10 women, ages 31 to 79 years, who faced a variety of medical conditions. These final, in-depth interviews provided even greater insight into the patient’s perspective of his or her hospital experience, interaction with, and attitude toward The Patient Channel.

This comprehensive research revealed several characteristics of the hospital experience and viewing habits of patients:

  • Television is valuable to patients during their hospital stay; often a time of anxiety, uncertainty and loneliness. Patients often turn on the television soon after arriving and watch an average of 28 hours over the course of their stay, with nearly six hours (or greater than 20%) of that time watching The Patient Channel.
  • In hospitals that carry The Patient Channel, patients have an improved overall perception of the facility and its level of care for patients.
  • Patients are highly receptive to The Patient Channel’s content, independent of a patient’s initial curiosity about his or her own condition. Respondents ranked this source of health information third behind their health care professional and family/friends, ahead of TV News, support groups and the Internet.
  • Most patients find The Patient Channel’s programs interesting and worthwhile, with information presented in a clear, understandable, practical, reassuring and comforting manner.
  • Some respondents absorb and recall a substantial amount of program information long after their discharge. A total of 67% say the ability to watch The Patient Channel after discharge would keep them more motivated to stay on their treatment plan.
  • Patients consider The Patient Channel similar to in-home educational cable programming such as The Learning Channel, The Food Network, HGTV, Animal Planet, D Life, The History Channel and Biography. Further, viewers feel The Patient Channel is more educational than other health programming they see on cable.

“A hospital stay can be a scary, foreign experience, so patients are looking to connect with something familiar,” says Suzanne Fleming, senior vice-president for The Wellness Network. “This study shows that The Patient Channel, presented in a hospital setting, offers a unique platform for health care providers and advertisers to connect with patients when they are most receptive.”

The Patient Channel and its sister channel The Newborn Channel represent the largest out-of-home health media network in the United States, annually reaching 20 million patients and their caregivers, and 3.1 million new moms, respectively. The channels are valuable educational tools for health care professionals to empower patients and their families with information about their conditions and general wellness concerns during a hospital stay. Delivered directly to patient rooms and waiting areas, the Channels provide viewers with original, award-winning health programs and advertisers with the unique ability to integrate brand messaging with content that is compelling and endorsed by health care professionals. The Channels are available in more than 2,500 hospitals across the U.S..

The Wellness Network is also a partner in the Joint Commission Resources Quality and Safety Network, a continuing medical education series for health care professionals produced by Joint Commission Resources and distributed by The Wellness Network.

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